Face Palm

My friends often asked me about Running Tech. I work in the Running Industry, I know a lot about different stuff, so it makes sense. I don’t mind answering questions because I want everyone on the planet to love running or walking or cycling or something that keeps them active and happy. You don’t have to obviously, its just been my experience that the body and mind work best together in tandem.

Friends have an easier time asking me questions than a tech professional.

I get a lot of comments from friends like…. I have blisters on my toes and my toenails fall off – but I love my shoes!

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or I get a really a bad chaffing problem but I love my shorts!

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Really? I don’t know about you but when my body tells me I am in pain, I feel the need to stop. Pain receptors are natures way of telling you something is wrong. The Hubs wore a size 10 shoe and always complained about how his feet hurt. I made him get measured up…the man is a size 11.5. He squeezed into a size 10 because some time in his high school past he was a size 10 and thats that.

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I am training for my BIG Adventure this summer – you can read more about it here. With that is finding Bottoms that are comfy to run in. I bought a special skirt/short combo from Sparkle Skirts. Everyone RAVED about how amazing and awesome they are. So I had a Green Sparkly Feather placed on the shirt for my Dumbo experience….because I want to fly like Dumbo! I also lean towards the philosophy of NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY. So I took my skirt out for a test run.

To be fair, I have super sensitive skin. I feel seams and tags and usually break out in rashes if fabric is washed in a soap thats not Edmonton Tourist Approved.

I chaffed so bad in this skirt that I thought I was bleeding. The band bruised my leg and I chaffed where the seam was. I was talking to my friend who said….Glide it up! Wait…what?

I don’t use glide. Why? If something hurts I stop using it.

I should have prescribed to this method with Boys – they hurt me….stop going back for more. But with clothes….WHY WOULD I EVER WEAR THIS AGAIN? Especially when I have capris that feel good right now. I will wear those instead. I just thought wearing a fun skirt would be…well fun!

Thats fine…my hair will have a fun Sweaty Band. And I am in search of a new Running Shirt that will feel awesome too. I discovered Nordstrom’s carries Nike for girls will that extra cush because some of us are built for comfort and cuddles. Running is something we do to stay heart healthy! BUT THEN… Nordstrom’s Canada does not ship Nike Plus to Canada. WTF Nordstroms!  Nike Canada does not have an on-line store for me to shop at… just stores for me to choose from that carry their product but those stores do not carry plus size. WTF NIKE!

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I guess that means I get to wear what I always wear. Regular yoga pant – does not fit the same as a running tight. I may shop in California when I am there but then I only have a few days to test it out.

Meanwhile… John Stewart has had quite the month too… I feel your pain man.

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Manly Chips #FindYourStrong

Today at coffee time, I busted out a bag of chips that has been in my desk since the first week I started my new position. They were a gift from my new boss because of an upcoming event…more on the event later.

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Yes that is the Silence next to the chips…but this doesn’t surprise you with my love of geek.  But look at the bag!

Guinness Thick Cut Chips!

First off – Guinness!

Secondly – Chips!

Thirdly- They tasted Manly.

Not the Irish Spring Manly “and I like it too” but like Gravy and dirt. Manly stuff. I shared it around the office and everyone agreed “Manly” was the proper adjective. Not to objectify, but it changed our persona when we ate them. We felt  – well – manly in a cartoon fashion. We all agreed it needed cheese then it would be poutine chips. That would be a win!

But the real reason I was given Manly chips was because I earned a spot on Team Canada for the Race to Kinvara!

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It sounds more impressive than it is. Wait…its still impressive. And I have finally stopped crying about enough to tell the beginning.

I work in the Running industry. I know a lot about shoes. Saucony held a contest and I earned top spot for my company.

First off, you may not be able to tell, but I am super competitive. I like winning. I think that is why I run. I suck at winning when running. Last place is where I reside. Being last teaches me things that don’t feel comfortable but I learn more from that than if I was good at winning.

So winning this contest is incredibly complicated.

It means I get a Spot on Team Canada and I get to participate in a relay that will have my team run from Dublin to Kinvara in 3 days. Saucony asked my 5k time. I said 50 minutes because I stop for Sheep and Pubs. But the reality is that will be me running my heart out.

That makes me cry a bit.

I want to be fast, and I am faster than yesterday. But it is still painful to be last. Especially since Team Canada has Fast Runners. People who work in the running industry tend to be established runners who are fast. They look the part. They are fast and svelte. I am neither. So the fat girl in me is terrified. When I go for a run, a guy I work with says “Enjoy your walk” – WOW … I am defiant right back and tell him I may not be as fast as him, but I still run. I play a tough game but that makes me die inside.

Its like high school all over again. Watching everyone be good at something and me still trying to find that something I excel at.

But the flip side is, I am the only one for my company who out in out earned the spot. Others had their name drawn for a chance to go. I knew I got to go because of my placement. I was first.

I’m #1! I’m #1!

But I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t get to go. You  see, I started a new position and taking time off is complicated because of timing. But the powers that be graciously let me go because I earned it.

I need to remember that. No matter what anyone says to me about how slow I am … I EARNED IT.

I will also be about 100 years older than everyone too, that complicates things. But Dammit, I EARNED IT.

So here is the stuff I am super excited about:

  1. I am going to Ireland!
  2. I get a Team Canada Jersey. TEAM CANADA my childhood dream fulfilled! Sure its not the Olympics but I am on a RUNNING TEAM!
  3. I get to eat in Kilkenny Castle
  4. I get to visit the Guinness Factory
  5. I get to see Dublin
  6. I get to see Kinvara
  7. I get to run part of a 200km relay in Ireland.
  8. I get to go with my pal, he won a spot too!
  9. I get to visit Ireland.

I leave in 22 days.

My plane tickets came today. I cried a bit.

I suppose it is because of where I have come from. I changed my life, found my passion, turned it into my job, and became good at it.

Boom, Irony in its purest form.

I am good at what I do because I make connections with people just like me. People who want to run, so they take it one step at a time. People who want to be more than what they are. People who can tell I get them, because I am them.

Ironic because I am not good at the running part. But I am consistent. AND I have run. 8 half marathons in 3 years plus countless other distances.

Next Stop: The Race to Kinvara, luckily I have found my strong. Thank you Saucony for this amazing oppourtunity.

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Running 500 Miles for SMA

There is an app out there called Timehop. I am not big on revisiting the past other than for purposes to mark achievement. I often speak to running/walking groups to talk about goal setting and maintaining motivation. I preach the basics of forgiving yourself, be kind to yourself and let the past go. Mistakes happen, move on. Except for measurement. I think TIME  is a marvellous tool for measuring progress. For example, 2010 I couldn’t walk up the stairs without major effort. Getting out of the bathtub was hard for me. As you all know, I started moving more and eating less. I am 117lbs further away from 2010. It amazes me.

I was flipping through TimeHop and came across a photo of my desk piled high in books and papers as I was writing my Capstone.

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This photo made me pause. I suddenly remembered all the steps that got me to this point.

I needed a project to work on for my final project. So I called my pal Joe because he often asks me the kind of questions that inspires me to think out of the box. We began talking about goals and future projects that would be huge or at the very least, take serious time and effort to complete. He disclosed that he would like to ‘one day’ run from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to the esplanade in Disneyland Resort. I said, “Lets do it!” So we started planning and this became my Capstone project. Project Planning on an epic scale. I got an A+ but something else happened.

We started a foundation called Do Away with SMA. Part of this adventure was because if you are going to do something big, do it for a great cause. Joe’s family was personally affected by SMA so we decided to make this personal and choose that cause to work for. Why? Because other charities that you hear about are just that…charities that you hear about. They have a name and are doing well and meeting their goals. Apparently, Joe and I are two individuals that who like to go big or go home. Starting from scratch is a big deal for us. So, with the support of our families and friends, here we are. Co-Founders with the help of our friends in the foundation DAWS. All because we thought it might be fun to run 500 miles for charity.

Boom.

Its suddenly a reality.

This August is when it all happens. The way my life has turned really makes me blink with shock and awe. Whose life is this anyways? How did I get to this point? This is definitely not the old me. The new me is a very different person from 10 or even 5 years ago.

I invite you to follow our adventure on our blog at www.doawaywithsma.org. I will post adventures here and we will have a photo gallery on Facebook. Here is a link to our Crowdrise page that is raising money specifically to support this adventure. We hope to secure corporate support and raise money to help us fund this run as well as raise money to for our foundation. The Foundation support is found here .  That Cutie on the page is Claire. Claire has SMA. We met her Aunt through our Running Team and we heard amazing stories and saw adorable photos and suddenly SMA became REAL to the board. It was always real for Joe, his brothers died from SMA Type 1, but Claire is a typical kid living with an Atypical genetic disease. Now it is more important than ever that we raise money to support DAWS. We want to support kids like Claire in making every day tasks easier and to support researchers so they may find a cure. We want SMA to be eradicated. That is why Joe is running 500 miles. For kids like Claire.

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Here is what I hope to achieve by doing this grand adventure:

Raise money for our Foundation DAWS so we can help fund research and support parents and children who are living with SMA. 

Support Joe as he runs really far. Between you an me, he gets cranky when he is tired so this may be a challenge for me. See how I make it about me? Because I am awesome like that.

Share all kinds of daily adventures because you can’t run a marathon everyday and have nothing happen.

See the Coast of California. I haven’t been there since I was a kid. It should be a beautiful scenic adventure!

Meet amazing people along the way both on the road and in social media. 

I suspect this will be one of those life changing moments that teaches you about yourself and your friends. Joe’s Road Crew has 3 of us on board for support, food and fights   companionship. The off road support has many more….who may get calls from me as I will need to talk to people who don’t live in the car with me.

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There are 2 ways to support.

1. You can donate directly to 500 Miles for SMA. When your donation reaches different levels, there are gifts that coincide with the donation level.

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2. You can donate DIRECTLY to the Foundation. We have lofty goals for finding a cure and supporting families and their children. That gets expensive. The great news is, Do Away with SMA is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. That means I copy the legalese here for your reading pleasure:

The Do Away with SMA Foundation is a public charity and is tax exempt under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations made to the foundation may be deducted from your federaly taxable income to the extent permited by law. You should contact a tax professional to determine whether and to what extent donations are deductable under your particular circumstance.

 

This August is SMA Awarness Month. I invite you to come and cheer Joe on along the route. Here are our projected dates and places.

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I will be posting our location with video and photos and stories of our adventure. We hope you will join us.

We simply want to help as many people as we can, and play a part in defeating this disease. When I run, I always remember the faces of my younger brothers. ~Joseph R Kolinksy

Look for us here:

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And then this happened….

runningc2c5 years ago I was sitting in the car with my friend Simone and she was telling me how much she loves running. It released her from her stresses. I replied with…. I don’t understand how running feels good AT ALL. You are crazy, it makes no sense to me.

My dad always ran and my family was always saying “you are addicted to running, this is terrible, you need to stop, its bad for you.”

My dad didn’t stop. He kept running. He basically did what he always does. he replied with a “yeah yeah yeah” and did what he wants. Why? Because my dad is a grown up. He gets to choose his own hobbies, his own passions and his downtime spent freely from obligations.

Go Dad, you rock!

I met a runner who runs marathons…get this…FOR FUN. Seriously? Do you know how far that is? Dude, 42.2 km is FREAKING FAR! I didn’t give him the proper respect. I was all….big deal, so you run. So do lots of people. But the more I listened and understood, the more the Kool-Aid tasted better. I drank enough Kool-Aid that I wanted to give running a try.

Boom, 5 years later I am a bonafide Runner.

I have a Pie Run tomorrow. I get to go for a run and they will give me PIE at the finish line. Seriously….who doesn’t like Pie? I’ll run for pie.

I told my pal about the Run for Pie – the same guy who runs marathons for fun. He said “Pie? That has to be one of the best foods available a race course! But there was one time I had a sub, there was these people….”

We exchanged race stories.

Then we thought, this might be a fun podcast.

So he pressed the record button on one of our conversations.

Suddenly, not only am I a runner, but I am a podcast host who talks about running.

Weird how life takes you down paths so unexpected.

You can find my podcast Running Coast 2 Coast here:

If you like it, please leave a review. If you hate it, please leave a review with WHY. Whys are important for growth.

We are 3 podcasts published and have lots ready to roll out. Even if no one listens, we are having fun. AND I get to talk about running, my next favourite thing to running.

Doing stuff I like and having fun. Can’t get better that that.

Dad’s are smart. Well, mine is. Thanks Dad.

Me and Dadeo at the finish
Me and Dadeo at the finish